New website online!

alamnathoomusic.com is live! Please have a look around and feel free to let me know if anything isn’t working, or just what you think.

I will still be using this wordpress account for news and blogs, but it is also available via the new site.

It all feels very self-important, but I thought it was about time to try and act professionally…

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Five thoughts for that crucial moment

Some great observations on the improvisation process from pianist extraordinaire Tom Hewson. (Note to self: Take note)

Tom Hewson

In the absence of the time to write anything particularly involved recently, here are a few (slightly tongue-in-cheek) thoughts that have popped in and out of my mind when playing recently.

1) Are you playing what you think you should play, or what you think other people think you should play? (be honest now)

2)It’s overwhelmingly probable that, given the extent of your musical training and instrumental proficiency, what you’re playing is far too complicated and busy already

3)Can you feel anything bigger and longer than the immediate desire to play the next note?

4)The first idea your inner ear gives you at any point can be obvious, cliched, unnecessary or knee-jerk. Wait for the next bus, it might be less busy and you could probably do with the space.

5)If you’re not surprising yourself, you’re probably not surprising anyone else.

I say ‘tongue-in-cheek’ but I suppose I really mean ‘deadly serious’…

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Train Ride

Train Ride

Noting the rain from the train
With my whisky addled brain
Trying to think of a refrain
Causes my mind a little pain
A little bit of mental strain
Try to read my book again
The same sentences remain
Over and over start again
My eyes grow weary start to wane
So if it’s all the same
I shall try and sleep a while.

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Hello From Edinburgh

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Hello from Edinburgh

I walked and I did wander
over grassy hills in Edinburgh.
A fantastic cure for hangover.

One must earn his breakfast haggis.

All the peaks I rambled over,
Climbed them all, was very thorough.
Caught nature’s eye, we smiled at one another.

The effects of last nights whisky I now dismiss.

With a briskly march, much land did I cover,
Arthur’s seat now my throne, well worth all the bother.
The cool lowland breeze has become my new lover.

Hello and good day, from Edinburgh.

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Miri to Mulu and back

20140517-125359.jpgMiri to Mulu and back

Never before have I been so aware
Of all the water in the air,
But none to quench the thirst mon frere,
It’s all on the brow and in our hair.

“We’re turning back, you’ll have to wait,
We can’t fly through the airborne lake.
We’ll try again at a later date,
Or perhaps when the weather is less irate”.

Somewhere above the sun shines strong,
But here in the middle, in the throngs
Of suspended water in all it’s forms,
Blocking the light and triggering storms,

The picture’s murky, the steam does raise,
Occasionally beaten by the midday blaze.
Our clothes are damp, thoughts veiled by haze,
Our western clocks all out of phase.

Through all the shades of greys and greens,
Like arteries and veins it seems,
The river grows and ebbs and teems
Whilst oxbow lakes tell of previous schemes.

But the detail of these scenes must wait
For now we glide back to the gate.
“Flight’s early tomorrow, don’t be late”
But whether the forest abides or not, this we leave to fate.

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Six Mind-blowing Ways To Achieve More…FAST!

 

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1. When presented with the choice of looking at various ‘buzzfeed’ or ‘upworthy’ blahblahblah etc, try doing anything else instead.

2. As above

3. As above

4. As above

5. Always the same

6. Stop reading this! If you want something worthwhile to read I can recommend ‘Lucky Jim’ by Kingsley Amis. It’s hilarious.

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All the tea in China…

For as long as the ‘Quintet’ recording has been around (about a year now) I have had it in my mind that I would try and do a video for the track ‘Where Have All The Teaspoons Gone?’ just because it’s such an overly sentimental tune for such a paltry topic that I thought I could have some fun with it. Immediately I thought of the look and feel of nostalgic video (think the intro to ‘The Wonder Years’) and had a loose idea that the narrative should involve either the travels of, or emotional breakdown of, a teaspoon.

Given that I already had a load of video clips from my travels over the last year and a half, I opted for the former. Most of the footage is from China, either from The Great Wall of China, Shanghai, or Beijing (the Beijing footage being mostly filmed at 6/7am having not slept). I guess in context one could assume that the teaspoon in question traveled to China in search of greener pastures/tea and I in turn pursued in my own search, for it. Having failed (to find a teaspoon in China) I return disheartened and resort to looking in places where I happened to be anyway…

Perhaps I’ll make another vid for the second part of the tune, where we find out where it had actually been. Perhaps not. Either way, I hope you enjoy the following bit of silliness, and the accompanying music.

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Identity Parade Preview

Identity Parade

Alam Nathoo – Sax Tom Hewson – Keys/Synths Peter Ibbetson – Drums

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/69460609″>Identity Parade (Nathoo/Hewson/Ibbetson)</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/tomhewsonpiano”>Tom Hewson</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Since filming the video we have been working on new music experimenting with samplers, loops and vocals, and will be giving the new songs their first outings over the next couple of weeks at two great venues.

The first is on Thursday 4th July for the opening of the brand new LUME night run by Dee Byrne and Cath Roberts at ‘Hundred Crows Rising’ in Angel. It is a double-bill with ‘Redshift’, an excellent co-led group featuring Trish Clowes, Andrea Di Biase and Pat Davey.

The second is the first (of hopefully many) ‘SE Collective present‘ nights at The Crypt in Camberwell, run by the tireless Jazzlive team, which is Thursday 11th July as part of the Camberwell Jazz Festival alongside ‘The Way That You Do It’, featuring Arthur Lea, Henrik Jensen and Peter Ibbetson. We will also be performing at one of three SE Collective nights (19th November) as part of London Jazz Festival 2013.

If you like the tracks featured in the video, they are available for free download at www.identity-parade.com

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Jazz News: ‘Green Chimneys’

GreenChimneysLOGOIMAGE-ROUNDEDNOTEXTIf you have not yet heard, ‘Green Chimneys’ is a new portal to the more musician-led jazz scene outside of the more publicly recognised clubs/nights. As well as offering quarterly listings, the site will host regular features and contributions from both established and emerging artists from the jazz world and beyond.

Here is a link to the website: http://greenchimneys.co.uk/

Kudos to Tom Challenger and Dan Nicholls for putting the time and effort into pursuing this worthwhile idea.

 

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Alam Nathoo Quintet Album Now Available

A heartfelt thanks to Hannes, Tom, Ryan and Jon for their time, effort and talents that went into this recording and all the gigs and rehearsals that led to it.

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